How to Maintain Your Garage Door

Garage doors serve two big purposes you might not always consider. First, your garage door is a part of your home’s exterior visual appeal. Garage doors are large and visible to anyone outside. Garage doors also play a role in your home’s security. You probably store some valuable items in your garage, like your car.

Considering these two key functions, you can understand the importance of maintaining your garage door. You’ll want to take steps to make sure your garage door looks nice and is functioning properly. An old, shabby looking door may decrease the curb appeal of your home, and a door that won’t open and shut properly may put your belongings at risk. Take a look at these tips to help you understand how to maintain a garage door.

How to Maintain Garage Doors: General Tips

Your garage door may be one of the easiest pieces of home equipment to take for granted. But when it won't open–or worse yet, comes crashing down unexpectedly–you're sure to take notice.

Keep in mind these garage door maintenance tips and make it part of your routine to ensure that your garage door is always safe and functional:

  • With the garage door closed, examine it closely from the inside. Check every cable, spring, roller and pulley for signs of damage or excessive wear-and-tear. If you find faulty parts, call in a professional to make the fix without delay. Worn components may cause a serious garage door safety issue.
  • Listen carefully when opening and closing your garage door. Some problems are hard to see but easy to hear. If you hear new sounds like groaning or scraping, it's time for a thorough and professional inspection.
  • Check for loose hardware. Garage doors have moving parts and that movement causes vibrations that can rattle screws and bolts loose over time. This is a garage door repair most homeowners can do themselves with common tools.
  • Lubricate your garage door's chain, springs, rollers and other moving parts. Do this at least once a year as part of routine garage door maintenance. Refer to your manufacturer's documentation for specifications about what types of lubricant are best for your equipment.
  • Inspect the door for cosmetic damages. Your door provides aesthetic appeal to your home. Check the exterior of the door for scratches, water damage, rust, and any other issues that might look unappealing. Many cosmetic issues can be handled with a little sanding and paint.
  • Check the weather seal and replace it if it’s cracked or broken.
  • Keep the area around the door clear when it’s snowy and cold. This will help prevent your door from freezing shut.
  • Don't leave your garage door halfway open. This creates strain on the cables, pulleys and springs, accelerating wear and leading to early replacement.
  • Ensure that your garage door is properly balanced. To do this, disengage your automatic garage door opener by pulling the release handle, then manually open the door. After opening it halfway, pause to see if the door stays in place on its own. If it moves, your counterweights may be out of balance, which can prematurely wear out the motor of your automatic opener. Be very careful. Garage doors can be heavy and if there is an issue with the spring, the door could come crashing down on you.
  • Consider garage door replacement if the door itself is in disrepair. A well cared-for garage door can last decades, but a neglected door will only cause you trouble. Sometimes, replacing it altogether and taking great care of the new one is the best way to enjoy your overall garage system.

Automatic Garage Door Maintenance

In addition to knowing how to maintain a garage door, it’s a good idea to know how to maintain garage door opener systems. Consider these tips regarding your automatic garage door:

  • Test the mechanical reverse safety feature. Your garage door has two reversing safety features to help ensure that the door doesn’t close on anybody. The mechanical safety feature will reverse the door back open if it feels resistance while closing. To test this feature, place a block of wood at the door closure and press the button to close the door. When the door touches the wood, it should start reversing back open. If it doesn’t, consider calling in a professional to fix this safety risk.
  • Test the door sensors. The second reversing safety feature of your automatic garage is photoelectric sensor system. These are the two small boxes placed near the bottom and on both sides of the garage door opening. The sensors send and receive a beam of light between the two of them. If something passes that beam while the door is closing, the door should stop and reverse open. To test the sensors, run an item between them while the door is closing. If the door continues to close, have a professional come and fix this potentially dangerous issue.
  • Change limit settings. If you notice that your door doesn’t close as far down as you would like, you can change the limit setting on the opener. This usually involves pressing a series of buttons on the main unit of the garage door opener. Refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to set the closing limits on your opener.
  • Change remote batteries. Imagine coming home in the cold after a long day only to find that when you pull up to your garage and press the button on your garage door opener remote, the batteries are dead. Avoid this situation by periodically testing and changing the batteries in your remotes.

We hope these tips help you get a better understanding of how to maintain a garage door. For information on home warranties or for help in deciding whether or not you need a home warranty, contact us at 1-888-492-7359.

HWA Has You Covered

A home warranty from HWA protects your budget and your peace of mind against the unexpected expenses of inevitable home repairs. Whether you're buying, selling, or already in your home, we have a plan to fit your needs!

View Plans